A resilient food system

This was originally posted by Brenna Quinlan on Facebook

Covid is shining the spotlight on the fragility of the linear systems that we have come to rely on.

In many countries, particularly in the US, the food system has been thrown into chaos. The industrial food system is inherently fragile. One missing link in the chain means the entire process grinds to a halt.

There are alternatives. 70% of the world’s food is produced by smallholders (5 acres or less) and distributed to their local communities. Where I live in Central Victoria, we have created a thriving food network similar to the food systems that existed worldwide before industrialisation changed the way we eat. In our world, if one element of the network fails, there are many more to pick up the slack. A network like this can respond to change. It can adapt. It has humans at its source, so a bad year for one small farm provides an opportunity for the community to help out. In a system of people and not corporations you will never see millions of litres of milk thrown away or abattoir workers being forced to work when they’re sick. You will not see the overt disregard for animal rights and the destruction of planet, climate and indigenous lands. You will never see millions on tonnes of food rotting in the fields while supermarket prices rise.

Creating resilient food networks is an exciting space, and many local councils, farmers and groups are bringing about positive and lasting change in this field. Check out what’s going on in your area, find and meet your farmers, and plant food everywhere.

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